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Located in the homonymous Gulf, Naples, with its 957,811 inhabitants, is the third Italian city for population. The city, capital of the Campania region, is famous all over the world for its artistic and naturalistic beauties, for its historical past and for the liveliness of its inhabitants. Naples presents, in fact, a rich artistic and architectural heritage, declared in 1995, together with the entire historical centre (the largest in Europe), a UNESCO World Heritage site, as well as wonderful views, which see the backdrop of Vesuvius and the Islands of Capri, Ischia and Procida. It magic even has origins in myth: according to ancient Greek and Roman historians, the birth of the village would be linked to the legend of the semi-goddess Marina Parthenope, who let herself die for not being able, through singing, to charm Ulysses.
Naples boasts a long history, which originated in the 9th century B.C. with the founding of the town of Partenope, where today stands Castel dell ‘ Ovo. In the 6th century B.C. the area was abandoned, thus assuming the name “Palepolis” (Old Town), to then found “Neapolis” (New city) in vicinity. Considered one of the main centres of Magna Graecia, the city, over the centuries, saw the succession of long and numerous foreign dominations, holding a prominent position in Italy and Europe. Under the Dominion of the Roman Empire, the city, appreciated for the beauty of its coasts and luxurious spas, lived a period of economic and cultural prosperity. Later, with the fall of the Roman Empire, Naples became the first autonomous Duchy of Byzantium (763 A.D.), assuming a role of fundamental importance for the preservation of the Byzantine dominions in Italy; then Norman Dominion, which brought its annexation to the Kingdom of Sicily; and Swabian Conquest with the ascent to the throne of Emperor Frederick II, during which there was a very flourishing period from a cultural point of view. But it is when the Angevin dynasty took power, that the city developed from an urban, demographic and economic point of view; while with the aragons the metropolis knew one of its periods of maximum splendour in the artistic and cultural field. In the following centuries it met Spanish domination, against which the people tried, in vain, to rebel (1647), and a short period of Austrian domination (1707-1734), until it became an autonomous kingdom, thanks to Charles de Bourbon.
In 1806, Napoleon assigned the throne of the kingdom to his brother Joseph Bonaparte, beginning the short French period (until 1815). The restoration of the Bourbons, on the throne of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, was, instead, made vain by Garibaldi, who in 1860 entered the city. Through a popular plebiscite, the city was annexed to the Kingdom of Piedmont, transformed in 1870 into the Kingdom of Italy. Even during the Second World War the city had an important role with the Four Days of Naples, during which the people turned against the Germans.
Naples is not only history, it is much more: it is culture, art, tradition, music and literature. The best way to know this magical city is to live it without limits, to travel through it, to be transported in the alleys, to smell its scents, to listen to its sounds, to savor its flavors, to be surprised by the treasures it encloses. Who comes to Naples can not leave without having first entered the Duomo, where the miracle of San Gennaro has been renewed for centuries, without having first visited the museum of Capodimonte and the Royal Palace, or without having been, least once, on the ferry that leads to the islands. Visiting Naples is all this: eating a pizza in one of the many restaurants in the old town, strolling along the promenade humming a Neapolitan song, appreciating the liking and geniality of Neapolitans. Naples is a city that knows no time, and everything we see of it is only a modest part of its entirety, because underneath the palaces, churches and streets extends another city, the underground one.
Naples: The more you know it, the more you’ll love it.
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